A Whisper from the Universe

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I keep seeing the same word all over the place.

The word is Harmony.

I keep “seeing” it, or being aware of it – in books, online reading, advertisements, articles, AND it came up for me two times in a row playing with Hiro Boga’s Deva Cards.

And since I try to always pay attention when I see subtle synchronicities such as this (repetitious words, patterns, ideas), I decided to write about it.   Unlike times when the message has been quite LOUD, (like my voicemail from the Universe), this particular message seemed very soft, and subtle, like a whisper, or a tinkling bell.

So I want to share with you some of the ways that I process these experiences so you too can be aware of the tender, gentle way the Universe sometimes communicates.

First, I pondered what I know of the thing, in this case the word harmony.

One of the dictionary definitions of harmony is “ a pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts“.

Being a coach, a healer,  someone who takes great pleasure in helping others create balance and peace in their life and relationships, as well as having a musical background, – this word harmony carries multiple meanings for me. So as I pondered every facet of the word and what it means, I also asked myself what are the antonyms of the word, some things that are completely “other” from harmony? When I think of the opposite of harmony I imagine things like chaos, drama, discord, unrest, clashing, fighting, disagreement, exhaustion, worry, fear, fretting, and feeling unwell.

I asked where is this thing, harmony, showing up the strongest in my life? And where might it be lacking?  Am I experiencing a “pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts”?

I took a moment to actually feel and sense the essence of harmony in my body, and noticed how it felt to me and what my response is to that feeling.

I considered what would it mean to have a greater experience of it, or a clearer sense of it, and what would it take to get that?

Today, as I write this to you, and as I ponder the word, I realize that right now I am experiencing harmony, for which I am profoundly grateful! The reason for my overwhelming sense of gratitude is probably because it has not always been this way. I haven’t always had a pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts – parts of my life, parts of me.

Like most of us having this human experience I have certainly had times in my life where I’ve had discord and been out of balance. I’ve had the experience of worrying or fretting or being fearful or feeling exhausted.  Do you relate to any of these things? These are all signs that something is not in balance, that we are not experiencing harmony.

Many times it only takes a small adjustment to bring us back into a harmonious experience. Although the adjustment is very small, the shift back into balance can feel HUGE as we experience a seemingly gigantic flow of energy as opposed to the energy drain we were living with prior to the shift.  One clue is to examine anything in your life that you are tolerating.

I want to encourage you to assess your own experience of Harmony, internally and externally. Where do you see it in your life, and where is it lacking?

Take a moment to get quiet, and ask yourself what small adjustment can you make to bring yourself back towards a harmonious experience?

I’d love to know what comes up for you when you ponder the word “harmony”. Leave me a comment and share your experience.  🙂

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

 

 

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5 Keys to Up-leveling Your Self-Worth

You hold the keyYesterday someone asked me if I could suggest a resource to help them realize and own their value and worth.

Generally speaking if one person is asking for something, there are a bazillion others quietly looking for the same thing.

So, my answer to the question:  Can you suggest a resource to help me realize my own value and worth?

Yes.  Yes, I can.

Very simply, the resource is You.

Your actions, your words, your thoughts, your ideas are the very best and strongest resources you have to build your self-worth, self-esteem, self-value.  You hold the key that opens the gate to the garden of your own self-worth.

It’s easy to think that we will value our self a bit more when someone else thinks we are awesome, when someone else is willing to pay us a lot, when someone else gives us a compliment, when someone else gives us an award, and yeah I’m on board with totally digging all of that too…

And all of that will start happening more often when we lead the way (and the energy) with our own actions, words, thoughts, and ideas.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on your own list of ways to up-level your self-worth.

1.      Throw out the whole idea of what you “deserve” or “don’t deserve”…and while you are at it stop deciding that other people “deserve” things too, (good or bad). The whole concept of “deservedness” creates a lot of stress, and generally speaking we do NOT get what we deserve, and when we allow ourselves to believe in that whole concept sooner or later we get screwed something happens to us that “we don’t deserve” and then our self-worth takes another dive.  I realize that letting go of this deeply ingrained concept may not be easy for you to do. It’s hard for me too – for instance – My Handsome Sweetheart and My Amazing Sons and Yuki the Wonderpuppy – I think they are all the best thing that ever happened and that they ONLY DESERVE THE MOST FANTASTIC EVERYTHING…and so what happens when they get something shitty instead? Yep, I feel like they DO NOT deserve anything less than fabulous.  Ever. So, yes, I slip up too, but just for today, let’s let go of it. Just. For.Today.

2.       Invest in yourself. The two places that always show what we are committed to (what we value) are our calendar and our checkbook. We spend our time and our money on what we value. So investing in yourself is an action that you automatically take when you value yourself. If you haven’t been investing in yourself you can start now. Maybe it is a $10 eBook, maybe it is a much larger investment. You don’t have to break the bank, but you might have to stretch yourself a little. Get a coach, hire a part-time assistant, take an online class, buy an eBook. The key here is investing in yourself. Yes, there are A LOT of great FREE resources out there, and I want you to take advantage of them, too.  AND if you want others to value you and see that you are totally worth whatever you are charging or asking for then you have got to be willing to lead the way, show up, put your money on the table, and make an investment in yourself.

3.      Pamper yourself.  This one does not have to break the bank either.  Just treat yourself a little sweeter.  Buy the premium box of widgets instead of the generic brand you usually get.  Ask for whipped cream on top.

4.      Be aware of how you talk to and about yourself.  Be kind.  Learn to receive a compliment (just smile, soak it in, and say “Thank you!”) Give yourself a compliment. Give yourself a break.  Be gentle, be loving, be thankful.   Treat yourself with great respect.  If you wouldn’t say it about someone you greatly honor, value, love and respect, don’t say it about yourself.

5.       Read this post about attracting LOVE into your life. It includes a list of slightly different actions to attract love with the same principles that this current post addresses.

There is only one real way to up-level your self-worth and self-value, and that is to take the actions that show you value yourself.  Moment by moment, make the decision to treat yourself like the highly valuable person you are. You are of great worth and value to the world.  Make the choice to act like it.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

P.S. One way you can invest in yourself is to book a VIP day with me. Click here to see what one recent client said about her VIP day!

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Life is Sweet

Don’t you just love opening the mail and being surprised by a gorgeous greeting card?  A month or so ago I got an absolutely beautiful card thanking me for my blog, and the work I do in the world.  It was totally unexpected, and it was awesome, exciting, and humbling.

Yesterday I gave myself a couple of hours to play.  I got out a few of  my favorite art supplies (watercolors, ink, pastels), put on some music, and let myself create this just for you!  I hope you enjoy it, just as if it arrived in your mailbox today addressed to you, with a big hug of gratitude and love from me.  I appreciate you and wish for you every bit of sweetness that you can squeeze out of life!

Life is Sweet – Take a BIG bite!

Life is sweet, take a big bite!

Take a moment to consciously recognize the beauty all around you.  Take deep breaths, drink in all of the wonder, stop to smell the gardenias, notice how blue the sky is, give someone a hug and really let yourself feel the love, take a minute to be really present while you cuddle your pet, tune in while you eat that slice of cake, savor every sip of that latte, listen to a song with an intention to hear something new in it – live with purpose, love with pleasure, delight in every moment.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

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The Magic Mirror – Part Deux

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Recently I made a connection with someone I’ve wanted to work with for a long time, at least a year or more.  I was in the middle of a yoga workout, right there smack in the middle of downward dog, when I had an epiphany.

I left the mat, went directly to my computer, and sent an email letting her know that I would like to schedule a conversation.

What was the epiphany, you ask?

It was simple. I realized that if I am wanting to work with someone for A YEAR before reaching out and taking action then chances are I’m going to have people wanting to work with me for a year before they reach out.

A YEAR!! That means a year of NOT taking action, not getting results, not dealing with the problem, not creating something new, not moving forward, not finding the level of success they desire, etc.  And THAT got me off the mat.

The Universe showed this to me via the lovely and faithful “Magic Mirror” idea. Right there in the middle of my yoga practice as I thought (for the umpteenth time) that I’d like to work with this person –  BOOM – I took a look in the proverbial Magic Mirror and realized that if I want people to sit around just thinking about asking for my assistance and help for over a year without reaching out then I needed to just stay right there on my mat thinking about it instead of reaching out.  And THAT was something I wasn’t willing to do…not even for 10 more minutes.

We can use this idea to actually create what we want. In the same way we use a real physical mirror when we want to put on some lipstick, or try a pretty hairstyle, or check for food in our teeth to create and maintain a beautiful appearance, we can also use the Magic Mirror idea to bring about a result in all areas of our life…emotional, spiritual, relationship, finances, business.

What is it you keep saying you want but are NOT taking action on?

What small action can you take today, to begin creating that thing you desire?

Maybe you want your boss to give you a raise, but you usually aren’t a very generous tipper when you go out to eat?  Maybe you want your kids to spend more time with you but you haven’t spoken to your own parents in forever.  Maybe you’d like to have some help with a project, but you haven’t been willing to offer help to someone else when you saw the opportunity.

Metaphysically speaking, we get what we put out there.

Try using the Magic Mirror as a tool to help you “see” what it is you’re missing and help you decide what small action you can take now.  Let me know in the comments below what you “see” when you take a look!

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Witthaya Phonsawat – freedigitalphotos.net

 

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Tipping the Scales Towards Self Empowerment

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Last week I wrote a blog post that detailed how the Universe had been showing up for me during the week prior, and I also told you about the big “aha moment” I had regarding my life lesson – powerlessness. (ugh, I really still hate typing that!)

The good news is that I am finally seeing how to achieve mastery of it, and that is the key to developing my super powers even further and fulfilling my life purpose on a grander scale.

Because of that realization, I’m willing to share my story, and a few details of how this powerlessness thing has showed up over the years for me. I also want to share how I’ve learned to master it. So, for those of you who would like to tip the scales towards being more empowered, this post is for you.

Looking back I can see a common pattern in my life, and I’m realizing now that the powerlessness component was in full swing, but it might not have been evident or obvious to the casual observer.

I grew up working in an entrepreneurial family, so from a very young age I was learning all the facets of running a business; from the first stages of product development, ordering supplies, managing a team, actual physical production of products, customer service, shipping, billing, etc. By the time I was 16 I pretty much knew the business inside and out.

During the next decade or so I worked for several other companies, businesses, and entrepreneurial enterprises. I managed several offices (optical and medical), I managed a retail store, and I helped someone else run an internet based business.

In every position I held I was the one person who was willing to learn absolutely everything about the business, and therefore the one who could keep everything running. I learned everything I could and always said “yes”.

I was dependable. I was responsible. I was knowledgeable. Yes. Yes. Yes…and always with a smile. I was hellbent on showing up as an angel.

And over and over I heard sentiments like “You are a godsend! What would we do without you?!”

On the outside this may have looked pretty damn powerful. I mean at least it seems powerful to be invaluable, irreplaceable, indispensable. Right?

I learned a lot about running several different kinds of businesses.  I also learned a lot about how one can allow herself to be taken advantage of, under-valued, under appreciated, and under-compensated.

Ah, now you are realizing where the powerlessness thing comes into the story, yes?

You see, as the mountain of responsibilities I took on grew taller, the more unhappy and unappreciated I felt since most of the time my efforts were not rewarded with anything more than a platitude or a pat on the back. No extra days off, no better benefits, no pay increases.

On the outside I smiled, behaved professionally, executed my duties and tasks confidently, continued learning everything possible, worked extra hours, and took it all in stride. On the inside I was becoming increasingly frustrated, unhappy, and pretty much consistently living in victim mode – silently blaming my employers for not paying me enough, not appreciating me enough, not respecting me enough, blah, blah, blah.

It felt crappy. It was crappy.

And what’s even worse, is that I took time off from a career and spent way too many years in a marriage where the same pattern was present.  I allowed myself to give, give, give, until there was just nothing left to give.

Looking back now I can see how every single time I was in the place of powerlessness, I was being given an opportunity to stand in my power. And I didn’t see it. I didn’t take the opportunity.

Instead I continued giving too much, not asking for what I wanted or needed, tolerating less than I deserved, smiling when I wasn’t feeling it, and generally just having weak boundaries.

All I wanted was to be valued, and yet I wasn’t valuing myself. I was allowing myself to be under-valued.

Once I began to see these experiences as opportunities everything changed. Every experience of powerlessness became an opportunity to stand in my power. And self-power is not power over others, it is power with others. It is powerful. It is the power to love unconditionally and to give freely without depleting yourself, without manipulation, without games.

It is the power to create a life full of Love & Magic for yourself and for everyone connected to you.  I encourage you to stand in your power, and in love, and make some magic, starting now.

I wish you a powerful week!

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

 

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Your Bow is Ready

“We must be fearless, as only love can make us fearless.” Marianne Williamson, Enchanted Love

Since I’m always suggesting that the Universe will give you signs if you are willing to see them, I thought I would show you how this has played out personally for me in the past few days.

I want to show you the breadcrumbs that I’ve followed the past week, the magical stuff that can happen when you begin to ask the Universe for guidance, and are open to what you are shown.  And you’ll also get a glimpse of my reading list, as I am hopelessly addicted to books.

This past weekend my Handsome Sweetheart and I took a trip to Dallas, TX for a wedding (Congratulations, Katie and Andy!!).  It was a long drive (and a beautiful wedding!) As usual I brought along my enormous collection of “things-to-do-on-a-long-drive”.  This included books, knitting, my ipod, my journal, my ipad, the latest issue of House Beautiful, a sketchpad and my favorite ink pen.  I know, you’d think we were driving coast to coast.

One of my on-the-road-again activities was working in my journal, a bit of self-discovery. I was working on an exercise I learned from Maria Nemeth in her book The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment. (Which is fabulous, BTW.)

The exercise involves first making a list of people you admire.  The book provides a lot of prompts, starting with the obvious suggestions (parents, siblings, relatives) to the not so obvious – (teachers, janitors, historical figures, Sunday school teachers, religious leaders, sports icons, etc.)

My page was filling up quickly and then it was suddenly full, as I reached the last of the prompts – “fictional characters, historical figures, mythological figures.”

MYTHOLOGICAL figures.  Hmmmm.  I’ve always “admired” Artemis. My given name, Cynthia, is another name for Artemis, or Diana.  Diana being the Roman version of the Greek Goddess Artemis, both of them being born on Mount Cynthos – they are sometimes also known as “Cynthias”. So, the moon goddess Artemis is a sort of ‘namesake’ for me.

She is the Goddess of the Moon & Sun, Protector of Women, and Goddess of the Hunt (and she has a golden bow and arrow which legend says were crafted by moonlight – pretty much the awesome sauce).

All of those things sound sort of magical to me, so, “Cool”, I say to myself, “I should add her.” But I had run out of room on the page.  So, I think, “Meh, I’ve had enough of this for now, I’ll deal with the rest of the exercise later.”

I closed the book, and my journal, and stuffed them back into my bag of overflowing things-to-do-on-the-road. Just then my cell phone rings.  I don’t recognize the number, so I let it go to voicemail. Lately I’ve been getting more and more “junk mail calls” anyway.  Probably just some telemarketer, they never leave a message anyway.

A few moments pass and my Handsome Sweetheart pulls off the interstate and into a gas station.  I, of course, am now reorganizing all the junk that I’ve brought to keep me busy on the road, and I notice that I do indeed have a voicemail.  It is a call that was most likely meant for someone else, although I hesitate to label it a “wrong number”…because it says this:

“Hi, this is Kathleen calling from the archery shop, and I just wanted to let you know that your bow is ready.”

WHAT? (Even as I type this I can’t stop laughing).  Okay, so I guess I need to put Artemis on that list after all.

With Artemis added to the list, I begin the  second part of the exercise…listing the qualities of each person (or in this case Goddess) that I admire.  Next to Artemis I write “FEARLESS”.  I then realize this is a quality I’ve also written for half a dozen other people I admire.  It is also the one I clearly don’t recognize in myself.  The one that sort of scares me a little.

We enjoy the beautiful wedding and have great fun dancing the night away (OMG my Handsome Sweetheart can rock a suit let me tell you), and on the following day we make the long drive home.  On the way home we see this:

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It’s the first rainbow I’ve seen in a very long time, in spite of all the summer rains we get.  AND it is a DOUBLE rainbow.  (What does it meeeaaannn???)

We make it home from the beautiful wedding on Sunday.  On Monday I am taking a bit of time to relax, and read a book.  I’m reading Marianne Williamson’s book Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power Of Intimate Relationships.
It is not available on kindle, so I’m sitting down with a real, hardback book.  Snuggling down into my favorite chair with a cup of tea I suddenly realize that I don’t have a book mark. (It is funny to me now that it seemed so important that I find one immediately!) I lean over my chair and stretch out to open the bottom drawer in a cabinet full of art supplies where I know that most probably there are many little scraps of paper and there must be something I can grab to mark my place.

I open the drawer and this is what I see:

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I’ve collected card decks for years. This is one I bought to use in some collage art, and the rest of the deck was still packed in the original box, in another drawer.

Now, the Universe most definitely has my full attention.

The following morning I’m having a discussion with my son about all of this and what significance it might have, and I mention “getting my finger print book back out.”

You see, I subscribe to the idea that our life purpose is “written” in our finger prints.  I’ve read Richard Unger’s book Lifeprints: Deciphering Your Life Purpose from Your Fingerprints
to decipher my own finger prints and according to Unger’s work the message within my fingerprints shows that my school in this life is what Unger refers to as “The School of Peace”, and my life purpose has to do with community and family bonds.  This has always made perfect sense to me, since a big part of my gift is helping people find Peace, especially in relationships with other people.

The thing that I couldn’t remember this week was my life lesson according to this system. I was drawing a total blank. The life lesson is that thing that continually trips us up until we master it. And I couldn’t for the life of me remember what the book said about mine. I looked it up – there it was – Life Lesson: Powerlessness.

Ugh.  Really? is that REALLY my life lesson?

At this point I’m wanting someone to show me the easy fix for this. So of course I consult google.  I search for “finger prints life lesson powerlessness” and I find a very short blurb advertising a private call that has already taken place. The blurb is accompanied by this picture:

 womanarcher

Seriously.

So what does this all mean for me? What is the Universe saying?

That I already have the tools I need, they are already part of me.

That the moment that I feel powerless is the exact moment I have an opportunity to stand in my power.

When I tell my Handsome Sweetheart that I’m pretty sure I don’t qualify for the FEARLESS badge, he says to me, “You are very brave.”

At which point I remember the Game of Thrones scene when Ned Stark’s son Bran asks “Can a man still be brave if he is afraid?” Ned’s reply, “It’s the only time a man can be brave.”

When I feel afraid is the time to remember that Bravery is within my reach.

Fearlessness only has value when Fear shows up.

And in spite of google’s awesomeness, there is no quick fix for learning a life lesson. There doesn’t need to be, because the magic is in Being, and being (being brave, being honest, being authentic, being powerful, being fearless) happens in the moment. Moment by moment.

Love conquers every Fear, every time. And when I feel like I’m unsure of my direction, the Universe will never fail to show me the way, when I open my eyes and am ready to see.

I’m not sure what you’ll take away from this post.

But I do want to tell you that your bow is ready.  Be brave. 🙂

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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Getting Things Done

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GTD. The new shorthand for “getting things done”. Are you GTD this week?

One of the ideas that I hold sacred has to do with making intentions. I believe that there is SO much power in making a solid intention, and writing it down or especially  speaking it aloud.

In fact, last week I had a wonderful visit with a dear friend who told me that she remembered a lunch date with me where I “made her say out loud” an intention she had. (Of course I’m sure I didn’t make her say it out loud. I mean, not like at gunpoint or anything.)

She went on to tell me how that one intention unfolded over time into an amazing outcome (almost miraculous!!) that she is thrilled about. She recognized, and expressed to me that, “It all started with that one intention, and saying it out loud.”

I value this idea of making an intention and speaking it out loud.

After that intention is made, and written down, and spoken aloud, what next? Next, we must take action, and sometimes often imperfect action.

So, I was talking to my Handsome Sweetheart this morning and mentioned my super excellent productivity device.

He said to me, “Blog post idea!!” And, yeah, I agree. It fits perfectly here, with this idea of following up those powerful intentions with solid action.

You will most definitely benefit from hearing about it and then using it yourself. It is by far the most effective tool I’ve used for getting things done, no matter what I’m working on.

It is completely low tech, it’s very simple. And it’s brilliant and time tested.

I give this to ALL of my clients, no matter what their goals are.

It’s a well-known story in the business world, and it can be used with great effect on your own specific goals and intentions. Here it is, in a nutshell:

Nearly a hundred years ago, Ivy Lee, considered the father of modern public relations and time management, was doing some work for Charles Schwab, the head of Bethlehem Steel. Schwab wanted to make his managers more effective and help them better utilize their time.
Schwab agreed to try Ivy Lee’s ‘system’ for 90 days and then send Lee a check for what he thought the idea was worth.
Lee advised Schwab to have his managers list their top 6 priorities for the next day. Number them 1 to 6 according to how important the task was. On the next day, take the task in the priority order. Not proceeding until a task was completed. Any task not completed was put on the list for the following day. At the end of the 90 day period Schwab sent Lee a check for $25,000.

The check that Charles Schwab sent to Ivy Lee was written in 1922. The inflation calculator I used says that would amount to nearly $350,000 in today’s economy.

Okay, so how’s that for a $350,000 idea? Do you think you could try out this tool this week and see how things change for you?

What if you were to use it to create better health? If tonight before you went to bed you jotted down the 6 most important things you could do tomorrow to improve your health and then actually did them, do you see how your health would improve?  Maybe they’d be really simple things, like drinking more water, eating a vegetable, or meditating.

What if your 6 items were the top things you could do tomorrow to improve your relationship with your partner or spouse or child? Do you see how your relationship would just have to get better if you acted on those priorities. What could you put on that list? Write a love note? Make a phone call? Do a small favor? Give a hug?

How could making this list improve your productivity at work, on the job, in your career or if you are a student, in your educational pursuit?

I encourage my clients to create a “doable” list. Not 6 big items that no person on earth could accomplish in a day. Just the top 6 things you need to get done. Then get it done.

Some people like to put the most disagreeable tasks first on the list to get them over and done with. Some people like to ease into the list with the more pleasant tasks first. I say you already know what the most important ones are, the top priorities, just make the list and follow through.  Don’t make this hard. 🙂

The thing I’ve found is that once this tool of making the Top 6 List becomes a habit, you’ll be pretty much unstoppable as far as getting things done. It’s simple. I keep a special little tablet and a pen near my bed and make sure I’ve got my list ready for each day. Maybe you’ll keep your list on your desk in your office. Do what works for you.

And don’t worry about sending me a check, just send me an email and let me know how it worked out for you.

And speaking of productivity…

WS26cover

I’ve been brainstorming new products for you, booking Virtual VIP Day Retreats, and writing up a storm.

My latest article is featured in the current issue of Wild Sister magazine. This month’s issue has the theme of Forgiveness.

This issue is beautiful and inspiring. If you haven’t treated yourself to a copy of Wild Sister, consider doing it now.

You’ll love it, it’s a treasure, and I’m honored to be a contributor.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Community

goddesses-thaikrit Jim Rohn is quoted as saying “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”   How true is that statement for you?

I don’t know how precisely that idea proves itself out in each life, but I know I want to surround myself with people who are positive, successful, kind, generous, funny, smart, conscious, spiritual, compassionate, creative and loving – people who want to make the world a better place. And I expect that being conscious of who I hang out with will definitely impact who I am as a person, and how I show up in the world.

Napolean Hill, author of the classic self-help book Think and Grow Rich (originally published in 1937 and still selling today), is credited with introducing the concept of Masterminding.   The Mastermind Group is pretty much the original crowd-sourced problem-solving and brainstorming tool.  Basically, a Mastermind is when a group of people meet together to help each other solve problems, produce brilliant ideas, find accountability and move forward to create success.

I’ve been involved in Spiritual Masterminds, Business Masterminds, and Personal Development Masterminds.  I’ve participated in groups as small as 4 people, and groups of a dozen, 2 dozen, even into the hundreds.  Online groups and in-person groups.  One-day Masterminds and groups that have met weekly or monthly for years.  I’ve had a wonderful experience in each of these formats.

It is also one of the ways that I’ve made sure to surround myself with people who display the qualities and attributes that I value most, the ones I mentioned above.

But I didn’t always recognize the power of community this way…

Yes, I’ve always had friends and family that I love and respect and hangout with, of course.  But I didn’t always seek support when I needed it.  In fact for much of my life I was invested in being extremely self-sufficient. I didn’t want to EVER have to ask for help with ANYTHING.  That period in my life came to an abrupt halt when I tried to fix a crumbling marriage on my own, and it didn’t happen. And then of course I got another opportunity to ask for support – my [ridiculously terrible] divorce.

I still remember the day I realized I needed to ask for help.  I suddenly saw very clearly the wonderfully supportive group of friends and family I had in my life, but I also saw that I needed to be willing to reach out and ask for help.  Inside I was falling apart, but I was so good at covering up my internal agony with a big external smile that most of the time no one noticed how much pain I was experiencing.  That day I recognized that unless I was willing to get real, to be honest, and allow others to give me support, I was going to really have a total meltdown hard time getting through it. I had to reach out and I had to reach out right away.

So I did.  I called one friend, and I told her what was going on.  I called my sisters.  I called another friend.  I cried.  I let myself fall apart, just a little. 🙂  And I felt instant relief. I found validation, support, acknowledgment, friendship, and unconditional love. They were strong for me when I couldn’t be.  And they didn’t judge me.  I reached out and they reached back.  It was a turning point in my life.

I realized during those couple of years just how important it is to ask for support when I need it…and to have that support system in place by being involved in community, by being supportive and loving for others when they are in that place of needing support, too.

And so now, I live a little differently.  I consciously seek out groups, masterminds, teachers, coaches, healers…whoever it is that can support me when I need support, and places where I can contribute to others when they need support too.  It takes a village, I’ve heard.

One of the places I’ve met a lot of great people and am involved in a wonderful online Mastermind  is Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Biz & Life Academy.  I hang out there quite a bit, with a whole group of pretty amazing women goddesses.

However you decide to surround yourself with awesome people, start today.  And don’t worry about letting it all hang out when you find a group that fits you.  Vulnerability is powerful.  Being authentic and honest is what creates powerful connection.  Those powerful connections are directly related to how we show up in the world, how much energy we have to make things happen, how successful we are at creating Love & Magic in our own lives, and how much power we have to make the world a better place.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of thaikrit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How to Develop a Mindfulness Practice Today

icecream

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”Thich Nhat Hanh

The present moment, it is ALL we have. Sometimes it seems odd to me how we can live our lives so easily in the past and the future, and struggle so much to live right here right now in the present.

Especially when most (if not all) of our worries, anxieties, and fears are attached to things we’ve experienced in the past, and things we imagine might happen in the future.

And yet, when we make an intention to develop a habit of “being present”…those struggles that are connected to the past and the future seem to melt away, the uncomfortable emotions and feelings that we experience become more tolerable, and sometimes even disappear entirely.

I want to share with you today a little exercise that you can use to develop a mindfulness practice.  I teach this in The Love & Magic Salon, and participants in that course often tell me that they have experienced profound shifts because of this one exercise.  This simple practice will automatically create a mindfulness habit as well as a grateful mindset, and both things will expand the experience of Love & Magic in your life greatly.

(And if you’re wondering about that picture of ice cream…I almost titled this blog post “How I’m using Ice Cream to Grow Spiritually”)

Okay, so here is the exercise, in a nutshell:

Each evening as you’re winding down, right before you fall asleep, think of 5 things you experienced earlier that day, things that you enjoyed and are grateful for – one attached to each of the 5 senses.

An example – for me yesterday I experienced the smell of freshly ground coffee (scent), I witnessed an incredible sunset (sight), I heard my favorite peeps laughing as we had a celebration dinner (hearing), I snuggled with my little doggie Yuki (touch), and I ate a scoop of Italian Cream Cake Ice cream (taste – OMG I think I might be addicted to this stuff!!!).

Isn’t that simple?! It takes like 2 minutes tops! AND…here is the cool thing.  Once you develop of habit of doing this each night before sleeping, you’ll start “collecting” experiences during the day for that evening’s practice automatically, which means that you will be cultivating a higher level of awareness of your senses and consciously focusing on things that you are grateful for. You can also let this little exercise serve as a reminder to you to slow down a bit and enjoy those moments mindfully.

I hope you enjoy this simple little exercise and recognize just how powerful developing a mindfulness practice can be. Now…go get some ice cream, and start making some magic happen.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Is ‘True Love’ Real, or just a Fairy Tale?

Fairy Tale

“We all want a fairy tale, but it never turns out that way does it? Because people are not perfect…,”  she said.

I listened as my client wondered aloud to me.  I was reminded of a question from a reader that echoed a similar thought,

“Does ‘true love’ really exist, or is it just a fairy tale?”

Ah, the “fairy tale romance”.  The one we all want.  That perfect, shiny, sparkly, romantic relationship where the birds are chirping and the bees are singing and the flowers are blooming and the poisoned appl- WAIT! WHAT?  What poisoned apple?

OH THAAAT poisoned apple.  Yes, the one in the, uh, fairy tale, ahem.  Along with the wicked witches, evil step sisters, malevolent queens, scary talking trees, flying monkeys and all manner of frightening villains and dangerous, fire-breathing circumstances.

Those are the little details we seem to be forgetting when we fantasize about wishing our own lives and loves were more like a fairy tale.  Within the confines of our imagination, within the covers of an enchanted book, it seems easier to remember and focus on the sparkly shiny deliciousness of dancing at midnight at the fairy ball and being swept off our feet by Prince Perfect.  How easily we forget the poisoned apples.

And yet, people aren’t perfect, they’re real.  And real relationships aren’t perfect, they’re real.  But they are, or they can be shiny, sparkly, and romantic.

Your Prince, (or Princess) won’t be perfect, but can be perfect for you.  And even though one of the magical parts of the fairy tale is often the idea of being rescued by said Prince Perfect,  you really only need rescuing if you are a victim.  And I know you don’t want to be a victim, right? Right?

So how can we have the sparkly, shiny, dreamy romantic part?  When will it show up for us?

When we are willing to see each other and our selves through the magic mirror, the one that reflects our own shortcomings and flaws and without judgment accepts and supports us in bettering them…

When we decide to create strong boundaries and stop accepting poisoned apples…

When we learn how to love our self first…

When we can realize that there will be some scary villains and flying monkeys along the way, and decide that we will focus on the good, the shiny, the eternal…

When we recognize that we don’t need rescuing…

When we choose to make decisions based on love, instead of fear

When we enjoy each moment and experience each other fully in that moment, knowing that the power of love exists right now, in this present moment…

Then we will recognize that true love is real, and not a fairy tale and that we can live happily ever after, right now.

And yes, it is magical, sparkly, and shiny.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

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